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Hi! I'm Laura, a 23-year-old millennial girl discovering who I am by sharing my life experiences on my blog. You'll find me writing about me discovering my personal style, my growing wanderlust or giving any sort of style, uni or mental health advice.

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This post contains affiliate links. Please read my full disclaimer here.

This post is going to be very cheesy, but I have to! After a bit of a turbulent start of the year I feel happy, confident and it's going to be my 23rd birthday tomorrow. The best way to celebrate that, is by mentioning 23 things I am grateful for. Gratitude is all about switching your thoughts and bringing positivity and happiness in your own life. It's something I have tried to do more of this past year. Being aware of the things I should be grateful for is one of the more important goals I set myself to do last year. It has now been a year since I have written down at least three things that I am grateful for every day. And it has had a very positive impact on my mood. We are all most likely to focus on successes of others, on your big milestones or materialistic things that bring us joy. I often found myself caught up in thinking like that too and it can lead to a negative Nancy kind of mindset. And no one really likes a negative Nancy, do they? Gratitude journaling has really had an impact on my happiness this past year. It has helped me feel more positive, happy and confident this past year. I have learnt so much about myself and grown a lot as a person by practising gratitude. So here goes, 23 things that I have felt super grateful for this past year.

1. My parents – It’s no surprise that I am grateful for my parents and that they are on top of my list. They are the most loving, chilled people in the world and they have never put pressure on me to do anything. They are super supportive and always put my brother and I first, which I am just very grateful for. I love the relationship I have with them now, we can be super serious one minute and be extremely goofy the next. Especially now that my mum has had a great start of the year with her stroke, I feel extra grateful for them this birthday. I am just so thankful they are around and I can hug, kiss, talk or annoy the shit out of them every single day!

2. My brother – Of course I am also extremely grateful for having a brother like mine. There’s really no one like him and it scares me how much we actually are alike as people. I am super grateful that he’s always here for me to give me advice on how I should do taxes, career advice, looking for rental houses if I want to move out. I also love and am grateful for our humour and our silly jokes. We still bicker every once in a while, although it has really decreased ever since he moved out years ago, but it’s a classic brother-sister relationship. We can’t live with each other, but we also can’t go without each other.
3. My family – I am super grateful for my family and the relationships I have with them. I know there are people who don’t even speak to other family, which to me is crazy. I am so grateful whenever I get to spend time with my brother his girlfriend, my cousins, aunts and uncles. Whether we are a big group doing fun things together or I am spending some time one on one. I love spending time with them. We always do fun things, give me advice and help me further in life.

4. My friends – Where would I be without my friends?! I honestly don’t know. I am so grateful for each and everyone of my friends and the different sort of relationships I have with all of them. I love how we can open up to each other and most of my friends have been close friends of mine since primary school or high school. I don't have many friends, but the friends I am a very tight knit with the ones I do have. I am so grateful for having friends that always have my back and want to listen to my nonsense and have to put up with my awkward dad jokes. But especially after the rough start of the year I appreciate them just a bit more, as every single one of them have been there for me and my family to support us and send lots of love.

5. Education – It’s easy to take something as education for granted. It's because when you're in the swing of it, with one deadline after the other, it's difficult to see positives. But now that I have gratuated, I am actually very happy that I went to university the past four years. I learned new things, met new people and worked hard. And hard work at uni pays off because I now have a bachelor degree in Communications.

6. Having a home – Just like it’s easy to take education for granted, it’s also easy to take having a home for granted. We should all be incredibly grateful and thankful for being able to stay warm inside during the cold winter. There are still lots of people in Europe and the rest of the world who still have to sleep outside when it's cold out in winter.

7. My upbringing – Like I said before, my parents have always put my brother and me first. Our happiness has always been most important for both our parents and they have never put any pressure on us to realise their goals or set unrealistic ones. They wanted us to be happy and carefree kids and try to do our best every step of the way. I am so grateful for my parents bringing us up in such a safe, secure and happy home.

8. Living in The Hague – When I was younger I used to hate living in The Hague, but the older I become, the more I am grateful for living in The Hague. The Hague is such a beautiful town where the city and the beach are only 10 minutes away from each other. I love spending time at home and every time I get the train back from any other city back home I instantly feel relaxed and at home as soon as I see the 'The Hague Skyline' coming into view. I don't think I will ever see myself living anywhere else.
9. Exercising – Last year was when I started exercising again. Since going back I have felt mentally stronger and just happier in general. I have not been to the gym lots in January of this year and I already notice the impact exercise has on my mental health and other things, such as my insomnias. I feel mentally stronger while doing so, as well as physically feeling better. And I now know that if I want to continue being healthy and happy I need to take care of my body by exercising. At the moment I enjoy going to the gym with my friend, but I also enjoy yoga, pilates, walks in nature and really want to try barre classes!

10. Living near the beach – If you may have read my 22 things about me post around my birthday last year, you know this all technically doesn't make sense. In that post I wrote that I actually hate going to the beach. And I still do. It's just because the sand get's everywhere, ugh! But I love living near it and am super grateful for living so close to the beach as well. It's not something that a lot of people have and we Dutchies should be more grateful for having the beach and the sea so close. One of my favourite kind of walks in nature actually is the dune walk near my home, it always instantly relaxes me!

11. Being healthy – Just like being grateful for having a home and for education, being healthy is also something to be grateful for. My body is healthy and health is something that is easily taken for granted by people who are healthy. Everything that happened in January and the rough start we had with my mum's health made me even more grateful that I have a healthy body and am able to work out and go to the gym with my friend.

12. Reading – This past year has been the year where I have fallen back in love with reading. Last year I read 22 books and my goal is to read 25 books this year. I personally find reading to be very comforting and relaxing and I love to do it before bed to fall asleep at night. It has also become part of my commute if I am off to Amsterdam to work there, it's just such a lovely way to spend your time!

13. Discovering new places – I am nowhere near having seen all the places in the world, but I am so grateful I get to discover new places one trip at a time. It’s so fun to explore new countries and to learn about other cultures. I find it very interesting to learn about countries and different sort of cultures. Travelling and discovering new places almost feels like something magical to me that I am so grateful for.
14. Clearing out – I have found my love for clearing out. Clearing out really helps me feel grateful for everything I own already. It makes me appreciative of the things I love and own already. Gratitude journaling has also learned me that clearing out makes me feel grateful for things I no longer use or want in my life. The items have served their purpose in my life and I am then ready to move them on to a better home if possible.

15. Sleeping in – I am such a big lover of sleep and feel grateful for being able to sleep in during the weekends and not feel bad about it. Especially now that I struggled to fall asleep again at night, I somehow feel a bit more grateful and appreciative of this sort of thing.

16. Laughing – We have this saying in Dutch ‘A day without laughter is a day not lived’... Okay I just Googled it and it turns out it’s something that Charlie Chaplin used to say. Turns out it’s not a Dutch saying after all 😂 Anyway I couldn’t agree more with this quote. As horrible or off your days might be, there's always something to laugh or giggle about. Whether it's a horrible joke, a cute old couple of something funny your pet did. As long as it makes you laugh, you're good.

17. Awareness – The older I become the more I really try to be aware of the little things happening around me and in my life. That’s why I started writing down my favourite things about a day down. This really made me more aware of little things happening in my life. I now try to not focus as much on big milestones like I used to. This switch in thoughts made me feel very grateful for being aware in everyday life.
18. Silence – As much as I love being outside or with friends and family and to be surrounded by sound, I also love and appreciate just sitting in silence. It's something I appreciate as it helps me focus. But as an hypersensitive introvert I sometimes can feel super overwhelmed by everything happening around me. So sometimes silence is just nice have and I am grateful for it.

19. A great cup of tea – Is there anything better than a great cup of tea, just sipping on a cuppa when it’s just the right temperature? It’s no wonder that the British always say a great cup of tea kind of feels like a hug, because it does! And it makes me so happy in life.

20. Sunshine – We have had a lot of grey days in January, as well as this first week of February. It had really made me so grateful for beautiful and sunny days. It instantly lifts my mood, but I also notice that people around me also are instantly happier when the sun is shining. Sunshine is so important and something I will always feel gratitude towards as soon as the sun shows its face again.
21.  Freedom - I have mentioned this lots in this post already. But there are so many things we as a Western society easily take for granted. A home, education, freedom. It's why I have been feeling more gratitude towards freedom lately. I love being able to have the freedom to travel, to go outside and feel safe and to get into a car or on a bike and get anywhere I want to.  

22. Everyone I met via my blog – I have been blogging for 9 year and I met so many great people via my blog because of it. I love meeting and chatting to you guys and I met so many lovely girls all over the world because of my blog. I haven’t actually met lots of the girls I talk to online in real life just yet, but it’s just so exciting to know people all around the world!

23. Every single one of you on here – I feel like it would be weird if I wouldn’t be grateful for each and every one of you as you always take time out of your day to sit and read my rambles on this little corner of mine on the internet. To leave comments on my blog or send me a message or comment on Instagram. Thank you, I see you and I appreciate you!

So those are 23 things I have felt grateful for lately in celebration of my 23rd birthday tomorrow. I really hope this post brought you some kind of positivity and has also made you feel slightly more grateful for things in your life. 
Have a wonderful weekend!

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  1. Happy birthday Laura!! ❤️ There really are so many things to be grateful for when you just stop and recognise them! xx Hope you'll have a lovely day celebrating becoming a year older again 😘

    1. Thank you so much Pinja! There really are so many things to be grateful for, it's only if you change your perspective that you will start seeing them ❤️ Hope you had a lovely weekend xx


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